WASHINGTON (TNB) — Promising to fight climate change is a lot easier than actually doing it for most of the significant carbon-polluting nations. Despite his campaign pledge to make climate change a top priority, the United States President, Joe Biden, has been unable to get Congress to pass any significant climate legislation.
Consequently, the United States is not on track to meet its targets for reducing emissions. It is not for lack of effort on the part of the administration; rather, it reflects the challenges of enacting sweeping climate policy changes in a divided country. It remains to be seen whether President Biden will be able to overcome these obstacles and make meaningful progress on climate change in his first term.
Although climate change is a global problem, most of the burden for reducing emissions has fallen on the shoulders of developed countries. However, even among developed countries, there is a considerable disparity in the level of action being taken to address climate change. The European Union has been a leader in climate change mitigation, enacting policies that are close to or consistent with international climate goals.
In contrast, the United States has been lagging behind, failing to enact any significant climate policies despite being one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases. This discrepancy could have major implications for the future of the planet, as the EU’s commitment to climate action sets an excellent example for other developed countries to follow. If more countries took similar actions, it would go a long way toward mitigating climate change and its impacts.
The effects of climate change are far-reaching and global in scale. Even if some countries take steps to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, the impact of climate change will still be felt by all. This is because emissions do not stop at national borders, and climate change is a global phenomenon.
As temperatures rise and weather patterns become more extreme, the entire planet will suffer the consequences. That is why it is important for all countries to work together to solve climate change. We can only mitigate the worst impacts of this global problem by taking collective action, experts said.
Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics and climate scientist, recently stated that the outlook for climate change is grim. His group teamed up with the New Climate Institute to form the Climate Action Tracker to analyze different nations’ climate targets and policies of different nations in regard to the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement– an agreement set to halt climate change.
The findings were not optimistic. According to Hare, many nations are not living up to their climate goals, and not enough is being done to prevent climate change. Even though climate change has already begun causing extreme weather conditions and natural disasters and costing lives, it is evident that more needs to be done to reach the goals set in Paris if climate change is going to be halted. Otherwise, the world will continue to experience the adverse effects of climate change, which will only become more severe over time.
The climate crisis is humanity’s biggest threat, yet the world’s top polluters are not doing nearly enough to address the problem. That’s according to the Climate Action Tracker, which released its latest report today. The tracker assesses the climate policies of countries around the world and rates them as “sufficient,” “insufficient,” or “highly insufficient.”
Unfortunately, China, the United States, and Japan – the three most significant emitters of greenhouse gases – all fall into the “insufficient” category. And while Russia and South Korea are doing slightly better, their policies are still “highly insufficient.” Iran is at the bottom of the list with “critically insufficient” policies. India – the fourth largest emitter – remains an enigma, as the tracker could not obtain enough data to decide.
The bottom line is that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. But as long as the world’s top polluters continue to drag their feet, we will only be speeding towards catastrophe.
Nigel Purvis’ remarks come as climate negotiators from around the world are gathered in Madrid for two weeks of talks to put the Paris climate agreement into practice. The treaty, which was ratified by nearly 200 countries in 2016, calls for capping global warming at “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and, ideally, 1.5 Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). But with emissions still rising, many experts say those goals are looking increasingly out of reach.
“The warnings from the science are clear,” said Purvis. “If urgent and dramatic actions on climate change are not taken, we will rise runaway temperature increases that will devastate economies, societies, and ecosystems worldwide.” To stand a chance of meeting the Paris goals, Purvis said, countries need to start making deep cuts to their emissions immediately. “Delaying action is not an option,” he said. “Every year we delay, the task of keeping warming below 2 degrees becomes increasingly daunting – and the cost of inaction rises.”
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